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Shilling at auctions - thoughts?

Bigbuck1975Bigbuck1975 Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭
edited May 9, 2019 8:26AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I guess we all understand this is a part of buying on places like eBay. Yesterday while looking at Instagram I saw a seller that had posted that they were selling coins on another auction venue. He was offering free silver to anyone who would bid what they were willing to pay for an item. To me this seems basically like shilling an attempt to move his prices up quickly. What do you guys think? Marginal behavior or Marketing mastermind?

Comments

  • specialistspecialist Posts: 957 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Its disgraceful. If I ever caught someone doing that-I would not deal w/them. But, there are honest people who do some borderline things too.

    Yes, that IS shilling. Really simple-use a reserve.

  • MattTheRileyMattTheRiley Posts: 794 ✭✭✭✭

    I wonder what @ianrussell has to say about that type of behavior.

  • BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 29,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Bigbuck1975 said:
    Marginal behavior or Marketing mastermind?

    Depends on the spread in bid increments and how much free silver he had to give away? ;)

    Shilling happens a LOT and that's why nothing beats a direct purchase!

    To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!
  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,827 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Consider this - you accept his offer, buy the coin from the auctioneer, settle the bill, and then the fellow doesn't send you the promised silver.

    You have no recourse.

    Sounds like genius marketing to me!

    Life is too short to worry about this. If you think shill bidding is too prevalent, simply get another hobby. Not very much stuff truly goes for cheap anyway.

  • jerseycat101jerseycat101 Posts: 1,127 ✭✭✭✭

    Please PM me the IG account name. I have a suspicion, and want to avoid the seller.

  • 1peter12231peter1223 Posts: 764 ✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:

    If you think shill bidding is too prevalent, simply get another hobby. Not very much stuff truly goes for cheap anyway.

    Very well put . Not exactly a well kept secret .

  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,827 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1peter1223 said:

    @BillDugan1959 said:

    If you think shill bidding is too prevalent, simply get another hobby. Not very much stuff truly goes for cheap anyway.

    Very well put . Not exactly a well kept secret .

    Some people have an odd perception of this business. I've known full-time coin dealers, guys who I highly respect (or respected, as some have gone to the Great Vault in the Heavens), who had one or two side accounts on eBay for shill bidding. If you start all your eBay items at 99 cents, it's a necessity.

  • Bigbuck1975Bigbuck1975 Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:
    Consider this - you accept his offer, buy the coin from the auctioneer, settle the bill, and then the fellow doesn't send you the promised silver.

    You have no recourse.

    Sounds like genius marketing to me!

    Life is too short to worry about this. If you think shill bidding is too prevalent, simply get another hobby. Not very much stuff truly goes for cheap anyway.

    Agreed with your statements it’s comical when people openly do it without any hesitation or view that this could be construed as marginal.

  • rickoricko Posts: 79,055 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Plenty of shill bidding on ebay... have seen it many times.... I get out of it once noted....Cheers, RickO

  • clarkbar04clarkbar04 Posts: 4,440 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’d be on that faster than an ig dealer cracks coins out of problem holders to sell raw.

    Not really, I just wanted to use that metaphor.

    MS66 taste on an MS63 budget.
  • jwittenjwitten Posts: 4,455 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't really see that as shilling. Shilling is having someone (or you) bidding with zero intention of paying if you win. Giving people an incentive to bid on your auctions, knowing you will have to follow through and pay if you win, does not seem like shilling to me. Just seems like a way to get more people interested in your auctions.

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 9,568 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I went to a local auction where a huge hoard of stuff ranging to straight bullion to folders full of quasi-numismatic material was disbursed. I wasn't allowed to take the supposed 1916-D dime out of the folder to inspect the reverse, etc. After that, I knew I wasn't really going to be a buyer, but it was educational to sit back and pick apart how the auctioneer and the other "fellow citizens" in attendance worked things.

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 6,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not sure, "bid what you are willing to pay" may have him covered. Still a questionable tactic.

  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,827 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Shill bidding is running up the bid (can happen for many reasons) but without the intention of being the final top bidder.

    Generally shill bidding is done for somebody's financial benefit, to somebody else's financial loss.

    Shill bidding is generally covert, not overt.

    At one time, eBay had a tool that allowed you to see the percentage of bids that a bidder had with one seller, as a percentage of the bidder's total lifetime bids. I don't know if this tool is still available.

    In recent years, I have gravitated towards BINs for both buying and selling. Don't need the grief so much anymore!

  • leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 7,790 ✭✭✭✭

    Shill bidding gives a false demand for a coin. In a live auction, isn't that what we take into account....the number of bidders vying for the same item from past auctions before bidding? Demand sets the value otherwise I'm out.

    Ever get the feeling there's no-one on the other end with phone bidding at live auctions, I have.

    Leo

    The more qualities observed in a coin, the more desirable that coin becomes!

    My Jefferson Nickel Collection

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 39,553 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Is there any real practical difference between bidding against the coin's owner who is acting as a shill and bidding against a reserve set by the same seller?

  • kbbpllkbbpll Posts: 542 ✭✭✭✭

    Offering incentives on Instagram to go bid on his items isn't shilling. It's just lame "marketing".

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 15,301 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    Is there any real practical difference between bidding against the coin's owner who is acting as a shill and bidding against a reserve set by the same seller?

    No. Except psychology.

    I don't know why sellers don't just use reserves. It's more honest, probably cheaper, and less risky.

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 15,301 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ErrorsOnCoins said:
    When selling, I have never shilled one of my auctions as in my mind it is unethical.

    When buying, I have never worried about a shill because I set my price and not the shill.

    Ditto

  • mustangmanbobmustangmanbob Posts: 1,890 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @washingtonrainbows said:
    I have no proof but I strongly suspect this behavior is not limited to eBay....

    Been happening since the 2nd auction ever in history.

    Just for grins, I took one of my ebay searches, and these are the numbers:

    Total listings: 219,979
    Auction: 5,220

    Ended Auctions (covers a larger time span) 14,265
    Auctions with bids: 3,840

    So auctions make up 2.4% of the listings and only 26.9% were sold with a bid, so

    Using only a single data point, 0.6% of listings typically were comprised of auctions that got a bid.

    However, of the auctions that sold, 73% received only 1 bid, so now we are down to 0.1% of the listings are auction, that sold, with more than 1 bid (shilling that affects someone has to have at least 2 bids).

    Me thinks it would be possible to live my life excluding 0.1% of the items available.

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